Being grateful and thankful does not mean you will be free from the absence of problems and pain but is due to the presence of perspective and perseverance.Todd Gordon
Yesterday afternoon I posted a very simple and honest tweet. It described how I was feeling and I just shared it. Why would I feel like that after picking up golf cart batteries in Lowe’s? It probably wasn’t because I was then heading to Sam’s Club. I mean that’s a pretty cool place but I’m not sure it is what prompted me to be feeling the way I was feeling. (It wasn’t even sample day at the club)
Why? I don’t believe it was even the culmination of having what one might consider having a good day. I had a productive day working and planning for the new school year and this always gets me pumped up. I had an uplifting conversation with a really good friend after a full weekend spent with other close friends. We had recorded a new episode for our Beyond the Bench Podcast on Sunday night with a top notch guest that encouraged and inspired. I had also done a few things during the day to help keep me grateful and thankful.
What happens to us during a day or a weekend shouldn’t be the catalyst for us feeling grateful and thankful. They (what happens to us) do help, but outside factors should not determine the joy and the lens that we see our life through.
I don’t want to just tell you to be positive and see your life through the lens of gratefulness and thankfulness. I want to give you a few practical things to do to help you do that. The following things help me keep the proper perspective. Maybe they can help you too.
- I keep Thank You cards as book marks in all of the books I am reading. The extra ones I keep in a drawer at home and rotate them in and out as book marks as I start a new book. I recently found some Thank You’s from players and students I had 30 years ago. Those were special and are now in the rotation. Reading these keeps me motivated, thankful and feeling blessed to have done what I have done.
- Gratitude walks. Jon Gordon has written about this and encourages them. I have been working on losing some weight so I make sure to get up and get moving every 40-50 minutes and not get stuck at my desk for long periods of time. Since I have to get moving why not make it a walk of gratitude and think about all of the things I am grateful for. I pop on some of my favorite music and take a brief walk of gratitude. Not only am I working on my physical health but also my mental health.
- Say “Thank You” to the people you work with and around, as well as the people that serve you in the grocery store, at Lowe’s and at Sam’s Club. You get the idea. Think about how you feel when someone tells you thank you for something that you have done. Feels good doesn’t it? Why not help someone else feel the same way. Verbalize it.
- Take some time to write a thank you or two to people around you. You know it feels good to get them because I have kept some for over 30 years. They are special.
The feelings that I had after coming out of Lowe’s and before I headed into Sam’s Club felt good. Those feelings led to the tweet which led to the quote at the top of this post. We can do all of the things listed every day and it doesn’t mean that we will be free from some painful experiences, but doing positive things consistently for ourselves and others will help us keep our perspective and will help us persevere when problems do come our way. Choose and practice a life of gratitude and thankfulness. You might even be overwhelmed with that emotion in a Lowe’s parking lot on the way to Sam’s Club (on a non sample day).
Made For This Moment is a collection of writings for living day to day on the journey that we are all on. Todd Gordon is the Director of Activities at Greene County Community Schools in Jefferson, IA. He has been in education for 36 years serving as a teacher, coach, and an administrator.
He has been married to his wife Deb for over 37 years and they have three married children and five grandchildren.
Todd wants to help you on your journey any way that he can because he believes that we are all better when we go through life together and with teammates.
You find him on Twitter and Instagram at @toddagordon.